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Celestial Navigation

Second Edition


David Burch

Celestial Resources

Work forms Work forms Work forms Work forms Work forms Work forms Work forms

Printable Starpath work forms

These are blank forms only. For instructions and examples see
Starpath Work Forms or our textbook

Printable universal plotting sheets

Sight Reduction tables to download

Pub 249, Vol 2 and 3

Pub 249 Vol 1

Pub 229, all volumes

NAO Tables (also available in any printed Nautical Almanac and in Kolbe's Long Term Almanac)

USNO Star Chart

2024 Air Almanac

Using Air Almanac Sky Diagrams for sight planning.

Compare Air and Marine Almanacs

Navigation Calculators

Table Selections
including altitude corrections for H < 10º

Helpful for ebook readers


Full set of
Increments and Corrections

Bowditch on Cel Nav



Printable PDF of Figure 4.3-1, on measuring bearings. It's a little easier to measure the angles without the curvature caused by the spine of the printed book.

A new section on Star and Planet Brightness (will replace 11.20 in future editions since the gov closed down both the time tics and the storm warnings)

Free Nautical Almanacs to download.
It is the users responsibility to check these before departure. You can use to get to a place with accurate values

Almanacs from SV Inua (full copies of current, past, or future years) (this might be the same data, but with convenient links to related tables, plus a spread sheet for sight reduction... none checked by us.)
Tecepe offers way to make your own specific pages, 3 days at a time. offers accurate data for all bodies one day at a time (need corrections and star dec, sha from other sources)
– the USNO Air Almanac offers the same data but in different format. It is a free download.

Excellent way to check intermediate steps from any sight reduction method: Celestial Tools by Stan Klein  (plus other useful cel nav resources)

Time signal information from Pub 117   See also this note from USNO on UT  (The NIST time service was threatened with closure in 2019, but it survived.)

Celestial Navigator's Dream Machine from USNO (our shortcut link: *** Has been off-line for > 6mo. Hope to see it end of the 2020 summer.

USNO Supplement to the Almanac (much interesting information)

Read About the Starpath Online Celestial Course

Contact the author

Index to ION compilation of articles on cel nav

Navigation Foundation Newsletter articles on Navigation

Article on the Solar Index Correction Method

Article on the importance of evaluating a plotted fix to see that our assumptions are met.

Article on Star and Planet Brightness

Article on Star Names

See also our full ARTICLE INDEX of cel nav topics.

See also our full VIDEO PLAYLIST on cel nav topics.

Atlantic No. 5274 and Pacific No. 5270   Printable tracking charts (great circle), referenced on page 118.

Sextant Sight Planning with the Air Almanac's Sky Diagrams. Short of the StarPilot electronic solution, this is likely the fastest and easiest ways to select the best triad of sights for a cel nav fix.


Books on celestial navigation from Starpath  (also available as ebooks)